Thursday, October 22, 2009

Monet's Nympheas in the Musée de l'Orangerie

On our first day in Paris we visited the Musée de l'Orangerie to see Monet's final Nympheas - known as The Grand Decorations. I wrote about these two years ago Gardens in Art: Monet's final Nympheas as part of my Gardens in Art blog project.

The Two Willows by Claude Monet
200 x 1275 cm (three panels - 200 x 425 cm)
Salle 2, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The Clouds by Claude Monet
200 x 1275 cm, (three adjoining panels 200 x 425 cm)
Salle 1, Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Note the scale of these works!

I'm created a YouTube slideshow of photos which shows you both the scale and the detail of the paintings - and how loose and painterly his technique is. Plus you can see all the photographs I took of all Monet's waterlilly paintings in L'Orangerie - Monet's Nympheas (which also has a slideshow facility)

I've also uploaded a video to YouTube which give you an impression of what it's like to visit them in the two rooms - you can view seven of Monet's eight paintings of waterlillies in high quality video here (click the little HQ button to see the High Quality version). It's split between Salle 1 and Salle 2. I have to say that I'm really glad that the first time I saw them was very early on a Saturday morning just after the museum had opened - and there were very few people there.

The video also gives you a clear sense of what a simply massive project this was. Prior to the Impressionists, artists who were accorded the highest regard included ones who painted large murals for grand buildings. Much as Michelangelo used to do for the Pope! Maybe this was Monet's way of saying he ranked alongside the greats of the past. It made me think that maybe David Hockney has been thinking along the same lines of late with the huge paintings he has been producing.

I'll be writing more later on about the Musée de l'Orangerie and about a book I bought about Monet's Nympheas - which was bedtime reading while in Paris. The post on my sketchbook blog about the day I visited the Orangerie will follow later today

PS That was my very first video upload - I'm still sure I must have done something wrong! I'm not too sure why it's taken me so long to get round to getting a decent camcorder and starting to create videos!

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6 comments:

Robyn said...

Brava on the video, Katherine. It was a treat to enjoy it through our eyes. Of course you are going to have to get a tripod if you are serious about this video career.

In my previous life I'd have had to order a re-shoot - and in this life, I'd insist you take me along with you ;)

Brava too for dropping everything to defend your neighbourhood.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I'm thinking of getting one of those collapsible monopod - if I can find a lightweight ones. I suspect I wouldn't have been allowed to use it though.

Robyn - You can come and be my Director/Producer any time! :)

Denise said...

Hi Katherine,

I've very much enjoyed following your "French Tour". You're quite right in your comments regarding the scale of Monet's panels - so impressive.... I felt as if I was behind the video camera myself.

Are you feeling inspired??

Best regards,

Denise R.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Inspired and intimidated in equal measures I think!

NJ ART 73 said...

Hi Katherine,
I want to thank you for posting these videos. At this time MOMA in NYC is having a small exhibition of Monet's Water Lilies. The exhibition features the Water Lilies in MOMA's collection plus a few loans from other museums. It is a wonderful, "in house" exhibition. Although I have always enjoyed these paintings in the past few years I have begun to appreciate them even more. Your videos are an added bonus to the MOMA exhbition

Janelle Goodwin said...

Thank you so much for showing us these videos, Katherine! I'm a huge fan of Monet and now I feel like I've seen these works up close and personal.

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